The International Mediation Institute (IMI) recognises the difficulties that newly trained mediators and mediation advocates can encounter in gaining experience in their field and encouraged the establishment of the Young Mediators Initiative (YMI) in 2010.

The mission and vision of YMI is:
  • To connect newly trained mediators and mediation advocates worldwide and create a platform to exchange ideas and experiences, and
  • To facilitate interaction with experienced mediators who can offer experience-generation and learning opportunities. See “IMI-YMI Mentorship Framework“.

YMI achieves this by bringing together initiatives that support young mediators and mediation advocates and by acting in a convening role to those groups, offering the opportunity to act as local chapters for the YMI and to network with similar initiatives worldwide.

YMI does not compete, but rather supports similar initiatives to assist the next generation of mediators.

YMI recognizes the importance of supporting young mediators on their path towards experience and seeks to address the difficulties that both newly trained mediators and mediation advocates face when trying to gain practical experience and knowledge after formal mediation training.

YMI members will have the opportunity to create their own YMI profile and to be visible to experienced mediators and mediation advocates who can provide the opportunity for them to be appointed to mentorships, assistantships, co-mediator and advocacy and interpreter opportunities and scholarships.

Since March 2022 YMI is accepting new YMI members from the pool of IMI Qualified mediators. If you have a strong motivation to gain field experience, you are welcome to join the Young Mediators Initiative!

To become a YMI Member, please email [email protected] with a request.

“A big thank you to the YMI initiative that has given a platform for young mediators like to connect and share experiences with professionals”. Gracious Timothy (India)

”As an aspiring young mediator, it can be hard to get a foot in the door. To those young mediators who feel the same way, I highly recommend that you get involved in YMI. Thanks to the initiative, I was able to connect with experienced mediators internationally and get some valuable experience with an inspiring mediator in Australia.” Olivia Staines (United Kingdom)

“IMI has been one of the main sources of information for me since I started studying mediation. Through the Young Mediation Initiative I connected with NMv and I joined their team for the 7th ICC Mediation Competition. I also connected with UNOY-Peacebuilders and today I am a member of the UNOY Advocacy Team. Currently, I am certified mediator in Spain and I am conducting researching in mediation. I still use the IMI website frequently as a source of information for my research”. Virginia Vilches Such (Spain)

“I would like to thank the Young Mediators Initiative very much for bringing me into contact with this intelligent mentor.” Pieter Vandekerckhove (Belgium)”Mentorship requires a passion through guidance, inspiration and education, in order to refine skills and abilities, which will enrich and enhance – all  parties involved.” Mary Damianakis (Canada)

“Since becoming a member of YMI, I have gained valuable connections with experienced mediator-mentors that will help me develop my skills at a higher level”. YMI Mediator, Ronnda Zeula (USA)

“As one of the mentors of the YMI program you get the best of both or even more worlds: you get to reevaluate/assess yourself as a mediator, your approach to the mediation at hand as a teacher/supervisor, and get fresh input through questions and remarks from your co. Who would want to pass up such an opportunity? We, as IMI Certified Mediators, should see a mentorship as a must to put our practice and profession on an even higher level than today”. (Kitty Duell, The Netherlands/ MN, USA)

“I have found great inspiration and reward from participating in the YMI Mentor program as a mentor. No matter how long we all have mediated we can always learn from others as we encourage and assist young mediators in their pursuit of this worthwhile profession. I urge everyone to join and share.” (Tom Valenti, Chicago, IL, USA)


The YMI Team are professionals from different professional disciplines, cultures and countries. Our aim is to support you in your goal to gain mediation experience, as a stepping stone to qualify as IMI Certified Mediators and Mediation Advocates.

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